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Gassco - audit of management and follow-up of technical services and installations

During the period 2-16 December 2003 we conducted a supervision activity in the form of an audit and verification concerning Gassco AS. The audit concerned the company's management and follow-up of the technical services provider (TSP), ConocoPhillips, and installations and facilities where Gassco AS is the operator and ConocoPhillips is the TSP. Challenges linked to interfaces vis-à-vis the TSP and follow-up of technical and metering matters were thus the main topic of the activity.

Background for the audit

Gassco AS was established in 2002 and at the same time took over operator responsibility for a number of transportation systems for gas to Europe, except Norpipe, and relevant terminals in various countries. From 2003 Gassco AS was also the operator for the Norpipe and Norsea Gas terminal where ConocoPhillips is the TSP.

In 2002 an audit was conducted of the company's management and control in relation to the technical services providers Total and Norsk Hydro, and the installations covered by their roles as TSPs.

The audit showed that Gassco AS had some challenges in fully safeguarding its role as the responsible operator. Clarification of the interface vis-à-vis TSP also proved to be lacking somewhat.

Purpose of the audit

The objective of the audit was to provide the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway with a picture of Gassco AS' and ConocoPhillips' organization, management and follow-up of relevant installations and facilities.

On this basis, certainty is to be created to the effect that Gassco AS has an organization and form of management that safeguard the operator responsibility, that the role of the TSP (contractor) is safeguarded and that the interfaces between the players are described, implemented and understood.

Result of the audit

In the relatively short period that has elapsed since Gassco AS took over the operator responsibility for Norpipe and Norsea Gas, the company has established necessary agreements and systems for follow-up of ConocoPhillips Norge (CoPNo).

With regard to CoPNo's follow-up of ConocoPhillips Skandinavia (CoPSAS), which carries out the daily operating activities at the Norsea Gas terminal, we cannot see that this has been fully safeguarded.

The internal TSP agreement (Service Agreement) does not reflect that the responsibility for the operations services has been transferred from Phillips Petroleum Norsk AS to CoPSAS. There is also some indistinction regarding the interface for division of responsibility between CoPNo and CoPSAS for the Norpipe transportation system.

There was otherwise no doubt at any level in Gassco AS, CoPNo and CoPSAS as to the division of roles and responsibilities at the terminal itself.

The PSA's follow-up

Contact person in the PSA:
Mike Theiss